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A Sermon I Wanted You To See . . .

I woke up in the middle of Saturday night (or was it early Sunday morning?) with a mortifying thought:  this sermon needs to be one they can see.

I felt like I had a good exegesis of Ephesians 3:14-21 leading to a good pointGod’s supply far exceeds our demand — all resulting in a good conclusion: where the church, like Paul in 3:20-21, would stop talking and would instead start singing.

All that was missing was a good visual; a way for people not only to hear the message but to see it as well.

Because the bottom line — God’s supply far exceeds our demand — lent itself especially well to a vividly visual comparison.

For example, I could have said that while we ask for a thimble full of water:

God’s supply is more like an ocean:

Of course, it would have been difficult to get an ocean into our Worship Center.

Or I could have said that we request but a single rose:

While God’s supply is more on the order of an elaborate, expansive bouquet:

The problem with these kind of visual comparisons, however, is that I thought of them at 3 a.m. Sunday morning!  Too late, really, to do anything meaningful or thoughtful.

So I went with the message as is (or “as was”!).  We did have an interesting reading of the Ephesian text itself, recorded by a friend with a lovely Australian accent and projected onto the screens so that the church would be surrounded with those matchless words.

And I had some personal encounters with that passage as well as some spoken analogies to the ways we demand too little from God of the things that really matter: Scripture comprehension, passionate prayer, and influence in sharing faith.  Those are the kinds of areas of life in which God’s supply (or power, grace, and change) far exceeds our demand.

So the challenge to the church:  increase your demand for the things that endure.

At the end — as I stopped yammering and we started singing a la Paul in 3:20-21 — the response was quite beautiful, with people filling our altar area “demanding” more of God in their lives.

I just hope that the next time I get the inspiration for something visual and tactile to bring a sermon home that it happens before 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

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